Last year, VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb made the claim that Microsoft would be discontinuing Xbox Live Gold, the long-running, paid subscription service that Xbox users must join in order to access online multiplayer in many Xbox titles. Grubb reiterated those rumors during his latest premium episode of GrubbSnax, claiming that Microsoft is still planning to get rid of Xbox Live Gold but only after its latest and highly prized initiative, Xbox Game Pass, reaches a certain amount of active subscribers. According to Grubb, that number is probably in the 40 to 50 million range. Microsoft is expected to reach 23 to 25 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers by the end of the year with the help of heavily anticipated releases such as 343 Industries’ Halo Infinite.
“And as we get these big games coming out on a faster cadence – and by 2023 they should be hitting a pretty fast cadence in terms of releasing games – Game Pass should at that point really hit its stride and they should be well on their way to getting rid of Xbox Live Gold. But the point is, for now, Xbox Live Gold is still sticking around, but it’s still on the roadmap to go away for good.” – Jeff Grubb